Good day lovely readers! I’m M.D. Grimm, and I want to thank you for joining me to promote my newest release, Song of Flames (Sisters of Song 1). This is the first book in a duology about two sisters, their adventures, growth, and romances with magical beings. This story is about Venya, the eldest sister, and her unexpected romance with two special dragons who want her for a mate. This is my second MMF romance, and it was a hoot to write. The characters came alive for me, and it was one of the easier projects I’ve worked on. I enjoyed diving into the sister dynamic, their friendship, love, and how they supported and encouraged each other to be better people and find their happiness. I don’t think there’s enough depictions of positive women relationships, and I was satisfied with the results of my own attempts.
Question: Do you have a playlist as you write?
Not as I’m writing. But since music plays a large role within the story, I definitely had songs I’d use for inspiration for scenes. This especially helped if I hit a dry spell or a hard point, and I needed to move from scene to scene. I use music to imagine certain types of scenes, specifically action or love scenes. I think this comes from me watching Disney’s Fantasia a lot. I still adore that movie. I’m able to put images to music in my mind, and that has helped me work out many plot problems over the years.
Though, of course, I took it a step further and actually “put music” into my story. It’s a tough prospect, for obvious reasons. Describing music is never the same as actually hearing it, but I hope I did a sufficient job in conveying what it might sound like. I definitely had certain songs or singers in my mind when I was describing those moments. And yes, Abyss, my large, tough, onyx dragon, is absolutely a guttural, harsh vocalist singer, ala Will Ramos from Lorna Shore or Tomi Mykkänen from Battlelore (if you want great music inspired by Prof. Tolkien’s works, definitely check out Battlelore, most of their discography is filled with it!). Ray, my sweet golden dragon, has a gentle and harmonious voice. I didn’t have a specific singer for him in mind, but he’s in stark contrast to Abyss. I always imagined Venya’s as either Kaisa Jouhki from Battlelore, Sigrid Hausen from Qntal, or Loreena McKennitt for the ballads.
To get super specific, the individual songs that inspired me the most were: “Tenacious Love” by Qntal, “Daughter of the Sun,” by Battlelore, and “Bonny Swans,” by Loreena McKennitt. Check them out if you’re curious!
Question: Are there underrepresented groups or ideas featured if your book? If so, discuss them.
I am continually challenging myself to include diverse folks in my stories, and to represent them respectfully and with the same amount of love that I put into every part of my books.
Venya and Alaiya are black women who live in a Medieval-adjacent world. I firmly believe we need more diversity in fantasy stories, as well as stories not always modeled after Medieval Europe. While that setting is most familiar to me, I hope in the future I can do enough research to branch out and be more inclusive with characters, settings, themes, and any other underrepresented aspect of cultures. It’s ambitious, I know, but human cultures and histories are rich with stories, folklore, folktales, mythology, and rituals, and they are all fascinating and deserve attention.
Alaiya, Venya’s younger sister, is a lesbian and will be getting her own story in the sequel, Song of Howls. Her forced betrothal to a brutish lord triggers the events of the story and prompts Venya to do anything to protect her sister. Both of them are strong women in their own right, and once they are given the freedom to explore who they are together and apart, they turn into iron-willed warriors who protect those important to them.
As for the dragons, they are pansexual. They have mating seasons but that is the only time males and females congregate. Otherwise, lifelong pairings are always same-sex. But, as Abyss and Ray prove, they can also have desire for humans. (Lucky Venya!)
Watch out for the sequel, Song of Howls, due out October 2024.
For my next projects, I’ll be jumping into the next Stones of Power book, Opal: Master and Puppet later this year, and then I shall finally return to the On Wings saga with the great dragon Asagoroth and his beloved angel, in On Wings of Shadow.
My next release should be Blood of the Whirlwind (The Shifter Chronicles 16) due out in January 2024.
Until next time, stay safe, stay sane, and may dragons guard your dreams,
M.D. Grimm has a new MMF fantasy romance out, Sisters of Song book 1: Song of Flames.
She tried to steal treasure from the dragons’ hoard… and stole their hearts instead.
To save her sister from a lascivious lord, Venya must steal a piece of treasure from a legendary dragon’s hoard. Dragons haven’t been seen in several generations, so imagine her surprise when she wakes not one, but two dragons from their hibernation. While the battle-honed Onyx is intent on having her for lunch, the graceful Gold appears more curious than angered by the theft.
Abyss and Ray have very different ideas about what to do with the thief when they catch her. Abyss wants to punish her while Ray is intrigued by her audacity. After Ray turns his mate’s anger to desire, the dragons set out on a rescue mission, intent on capturing the brazen thief and learning more about her. And to see if her Song matches theirs.
Neglected and discarded by her parents, Venya has never bonded with anyone except her sister. Now she has two mighty dragons wanting to woo her and take her as their mate. While she finds delight in their company, she must reassess her own self-worth before she can trust them enough to love them.
But the dragons have exposed themselves to the outside world, and many covet not only their hoard but Ray’s golden scales. And when Venya’s closely held secret is revealed, she becomes a prize worth killing for.
Warnings: abusive parents, childhood trauma.
About the Series:
Venya and Alaiya are sisters born to greedy and selfish parents. One is neglected and the other exploited. Despite this–or because of it–they cling to each other, best friends as well as family. They find freedom in the mountain range beyond their city of birth… as well as unexpected chances at love with extraordinary beings.
Forging a new future is never easy, but with their unbreakable bond, and lovers and allies at their side, the impossible just might be attainable.
“Venya!” Alaiya could barely be heard over the cacophony. “Ven!”
“I’m here.” Relief choked her. “I’m here, baby sister.”
“Get me out! Is there a war?”
“Can’t explain.” She yanked off much of the armor before rifling through her secret pockets to find her lock picks. Then she crouched and worked the lock. It was the fastest break-in of her career.
The door ripped open as she stood and then Alaiya was in her arms. Sobbing, clinging.
“I knew you’d come,” she whispered, her voice thick. “I knew you’d save me.”
Venya squeezed her for a moment before pulling away and grabbing her hand.
“We have to run. Now.”
“What is going on?”
Alaiya gasped. She picked up her skirt with her other hand and didn’t ask any more questions. They raced down the corridor, following the other residents. As much as Venya wanted to escape, she knew she had to make amends. Despite knowing the futility of the act, she had to make it right. There were good people in this city, and they didn’t deserve to be dragon food.
But stranger things had happened. Maybe they’d take the goblet and just leave. A fantasy most likely but there was always chance.
Regardless, she had a debt to pay. And if that meant her life… well…..
“Where are we going?”
Venya didn’t explain. They shoved open the doors and entered the room. Lord Salazem was gone and so was the goblet.
“Dammit to the nine hells.” Venya kicked his ostentatious chair.
Alaiya panted beside her, still holding her hand, and clutching her chest with the other. “What happened to you? Why are there dragons? Why are you wearing armor?”
“I found the treasure and the dragons. I stole from the dragons. And this is a disguise.”
“We should run while we—”
“The treasury,” Alaiya said. This time she dragged Venya along. “Whatever you took from the dragons should be there. You want to return it, don’t you?”
Venya couldn’t help but grin. Alaiya was as intelligent as she was beautiful. And, truly, even out of breath, sweaty, and with circles under her eyes, Alaiya was stunning. Her dress of deep burgundy highlighted her skin and eyes, and the rich fabric, stylish flair, and low cut of the bosom told Venya that it had been a gift from the bastard lord.
“He took me there as he gloated about his wealth. He thought he could win me over that way.”
No man would ever win Alaiya’s heart. But a woman? Most definitely.
It felt like ages but was only a minute or two before they stood in front of the unguarded treasury.
Venya once again picked the lock, and Alaiya shoved the door open. Compared to the wealth of the dragons, this was pitiful. At least she spotted the goblet easily, sitting on its own table—a trophy. It struck Venya that the dragons also had the goblet on a pedestal, and yet it hadn’t felt like a trophy.
There’d been more reverence in the placement of it. She couldn’t shake the feeling she’d stolen something precious to them, not just another fancy piece of treasure. That deepened her guilt and hardened her resolve to return it.
Venya took vindictive pleasure from snatching the goblet. As an afterthought, she grabbed a few coins and plopped them into the cup.
“What are you—?”
Alaiya snorted. “Only you, my sister.”
They hurried out of the treasury, down the corridors, and then outside. Venya’s legs were wooden, and she wanted to collapse and sleep for a week. She was hungry, thirsty, but determined to finish what she started.
She looked up. It was easy to spot the giant beasts flying and diving as citizens screamed and jostled and stampeded each other. Except for a few towers of the manor being slightly singed, there had been little damage done to the city. Venya didn’t have time to examine why they were restraining themselves. Their fury must be unrivaled. They must be searching for her.
Terror trembled in her gut but she clenched her jaw and would face her fate with eyes wide open. She would not be a coward.
“Run, Alaiya. Run to the forest. Hide. They won’t come after you.”
Alaiya gaped. “What are you…? I’m not leaving you! Don’t be crazy. We run together.”
“No. Dammit, Allie. I have to face them. They won’t stop hunting me, and I can’t have them destroy this place. Or other cities to pursue me. This must stop now.”
“You risked your life to save mine.” Alaiya grabbed her hand. “You won’t be getting rid of me that easily. I’m with you until the end.”
“This isn’t your fight!”
“Yes, it is! You are my sister. I am no more a coward than you are.”
Venya glared at her.
Alaiya glared back.
In desperation, Venya shoved Alaiya away before running toward the dragons. Alaiya screamed curses and ran after her. Venya was going to collapse at any moment. Her vision tunneled a bit as she stumbled.
“Dragons!” Then she added a short tune infused with her siren voice. Directed right at them.
Both of their heads whipped around.
She held up the goblet, the gold and silver coins clinking inside. “Here is your property. Take it and leave this place. Take me if you must and consider my debt repaid.”
“No!” Alaiya caught up with her and clutched her around the waist.
“Nine hells, Allie!”
“Nine hells yourself, Ven!”
“They’re going to eat me!”
“Then I guess they just have to make room for one more. I bet we cause them indigestion.”
Venya struggled but Alaiya was stronger than she looked. The dragons dove at her words, and she barely had time to tear away from her sister before the Onyx scooped her up in his claws. Alaiya tried to grab her, screaming her name. For a split second, Venya felt relief and sadness so profound she grew dizzy. But then the Gold scooped up her sister, and she shrieked at them.
“Leave her be! She has nothing to do with this! I’m the one you want. Don’t hurt her!”
All the while, she kept the goblet and the few coins safely held against her chest. The Onyx angled his head down so that one silver eye gazed at her. The dragons banked to the south, heading back to their mountains.
“Settle, little thief,” he said, his voice cavernous and little more than a growl. “We have much to discuss.”
Author Bio: M.D. Grimm has wanted to write stories since second grade (kind of young to make life decisions, but whatever) and nothing has changed since then (well, plenty of things actually, but not that!). Thankfully, she has indulgent parents who let her dream, but also made sure she understood she’d need a steady job to pay the bills (they never let her forget it!). After graduating from the University of Oregon and majoring in English, (let’s be honest: useless degree, what else was she going to do with it?) she started on her writing career and couldn’t be happier. Working by day and writing by night (or any spare time she can carve out), she enjoys embarking on romantic quests and daring adventures (living vicariously, you could say) and creating characters that always triumph against the villain, (or else what’s the point?) finding their soul mate in the process.
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